Senate overrides student body president’s veto

Chase Hardy speaking at the senate meeting.
Baylor Lariat
Chase Hardy speaking at the senate meeting.  Baylor Lariat
Chase Hardy speaking at the senate meeting.
Baylor Lariat

By Reubin Turner and Madison Miller
City Editor and Reporter

Student Senate voted 39-12 on Thursday, to override a veto by Arlington senior Dominic Edwards, student body president, on a bill relating to changes in the Electoral Code. The veto would have restricted student government candidates and campaign workers from posting to their personal social media accounts.

Edwards said at the meeting before the vote to override took place, that he felt the Senate could set a dangerous precedent if the bill were to go into effect.

“Student Senate is setting up a dangerous precedent of just changing a document just because they don’t agree with the interpretation,” Edwards said.

Edwards was referring to the Senate’s response to make changes to the code after they felt Electoral Commissioner Sarah Parks, a senior, incorrectly interpreted the Electoral Code as previously reported by the Lariat.

“If executed, this legislation merely further complicates an already distorted set of policies and procedures and really the electoral process.”

Edwards said he recommends for the Senate to look at the bigger options, rather than changing multiple clauses that introduce a combative spirit within student government.

Port Barre, La., sophomore Lindsey Bacque, who authored the bill, said she disagreed with Edwards on his opinion that changes to the code were “combative” or biased.

“I don’t necessarily think it was combative,” Bacque said. “The way that some of the things that were interpreted by the commissioner and members of the commission body as a whole, not just one person, were not consistent with what had been done in the past.”

San Antonio junior Chase Hardy said during the meeting that he didn’t feel like the legislation passed by the Senate was biased, rather it cleared up several misconceptions about the code.

“Every single person in this room looked at this legislation and said ‘wow, this is a great idea,’ they voted for it, it passed,” Hardy said. “Saying that it is somehow biased doesn’t make any sense to me.”

Other senators suggested that it was not the appropriate time to put this bill into place because of the fact that Baylor is in the midste of elections.

Edwards rebuttled in his closing statement that his reasons for vetoing the bill had nothing to do with time or a bias, but because it could infringe upon the integrity of the elections.

In addition to overriding Edwards’ veto, the Senate also tabled a measure to consider revisions to the Student Body Constitution.

Old River Winfree freshman Senator Joel Polvado made the motion to suspend the bill indefinitely.

“It took us three years to effectively have conversation about, create, develop and revise essentially pass the mission, vision and values,” Polvado said. “If it took us three years to create the mission, vision and values, and it took us nine hours to revise the supreme governing document of the entire student body, I couldn’t do that in good conscious.”

During his discussion of the veto, Edwards mentioned that Senate members passed things carelessly without fully reading and understanding what they were passing. Polvado felt the same way about the revisions to the constitution.

“Seventy-five percent of senators probably have not read a single change to that constitution,” Polvado said.

Polvado said this shouldn’t be a nine hour conversation, but rather a year long conversation with a committee.